Notes: Ford changed a lot of things for its 3rd generation, just none of them were a good idea.

The transmission tends to hesitate and jerk when accelerating. The new electronically-driven power steering can fail suddenly and without warning. Even Ford's SYNC can be a headache. Actually, scratch that last one --- it's always been a headache.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
23,570 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2013 Ford Focus engine problems

engine problem

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2013 Ford Focus Owner Comments (Page 4 of 8)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #94

Jan 012015


  • 10,000 miles


For a number of months the vehicle transmission shudders, lags, and acts intermittently lurching. Very dangerous. When applying gas, one never knows if the vehicle will go forward smoothly, or instead lurch or shudder potentially causing to be rear-ended by someone or hit because the vehicle doesn't accelerate to queue. All accompanied by a loud grinding sound. A piece of junk!

- Harrison Township, MI, USA

problem #93

Feb 132015

Focus 4-cyl

  • 10,500 miles
2013 Ford Focus was going 35 mph, saw a late 1990's Ford Ranger stop short in front of a fire station and tried to brake. Couldn't stop in time and rear ended the Ford Ranger. The driver of the Focus got out of the vehicle and to speak to the other driver and the engine of the Focus caught fire about 30 seconds later. Firemen were across the street and came over to extinguish the fire. With all of this, the airbags did not deploy. I called Ford to alert them of this issue. They gave me a case number and within 1 business day I was contacted by customer care. They said they would inspect the vehicle to at a local dealership to find out why the airbags didn't deploy. They said they would not cover the cost and were vague about what the next steps were and how long the process would take. When I tried to inquire further, they said they wanted to know what my intentions were. I mentioned were are not trying to shakedown and sue Ford, we simply want answers.the insurance company, state farm, totaled the Focus and they are working with me to give Ford the vehicle, but Ford is not cooperating. I haven't been in contact with someone since the original follow-up and we have questions that need to be answered in order for state farm to give Ford possession of the vehicle. Ford has stopped cooperated and they have been impossible. This is a safety issue that we are trying to address and Ford is dragging this process out as long as they can.

- Playa Del Rey, CA, USA

problem #92

Mar 122013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 2,700 miles
This vehicle has been deemed a "lemon" pursuant to Colorado BBB auto complaint. The clutch has been replaced twice but the vehicle continues to shudder, lag, or intermittently lurch forward. It is a hazard to drive.

- Greenwood Village , CO, USA

problem #91

Sep 242014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 9,500 miles


Anytime while driving this vehicle you will experience grinding, shuttering and hesitation usually at lower traffic speeds, which is sometimes unsafe while merging into traffic because of the hesitation.

- Belle Vernon, PA, USA

problem #90

Jun 262014


  • 38,000 miles
My Ford Focus shudders when accelerating and lurch forward without warning when I'm slowing down or accelerating. I have had it repaired once and need to go back again. How many times do I have to go without a car because the dealership once again has my car in for repairs due to a manufacturer transmission defect. Also, what premature internal wear is this all causing" will I need to replace parts before they would normally need replacing or fixing"! I'm worried the car will breakdown or there will be a crash where someone gets seriously hurt. It has been brought to my attention that Ford knew about the defect and concealed the information and there are numerous law suits out there for this particular issue. I really don't feel safe driving the car anymore. I can't remember the specific date of the first incident but I can find out from the dealership if necessary.

- Ofallon, IL, USA

problem #89

Dec 272012


  • 10,000 miles
My vehicle shudders between first and second gears when accelerating from stopped or low speeds. It jolts randomly when driving in lower speeds. There are sounds of grinding and rattling when coming out of turns/accelerating out of a turn.

- Charleston, SC, USA

problem #88

Sep 042013


  • 3,000 miles


I have noticed that my car shifts awkwardly and makes a grinding noise when shifting into second and sometimes third gear. Sometimes the car will bog down and then get a surge of power and level off. Sometimes I will start going and between first and second gear it will bog and cause me to jerk forward. Some days it won't do it but most of the time it does.

- Dallas, GA, USA

problem #87

Nov 232014


  • 23,900 miles
Car went from 60 mph to 40mph to 20mph to zero and stalled and died in less than ten seconds while driving on the interstate North of atlanta, ga on Nov 23, 2014. Car came to complete halt when I tried to push the gas pedal and accelerate. I almost died. Car has been in the repair shop at Ford dealership for over 23 days now.

- Rex, GA, USA

problem #86

Aug 282014


  • 47,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Focus. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the brake pedal was depressed and the vehicle stalled. Additionally, the check engine, the battery, and the oil warning lights illuminated. The vehicle was able to restart. The failure occurred on several occasions. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failures. The failure mileage was 47,000.

- South Range , WI, USA

problem #85

Oct 012012

Focus 4-cyl

  • 15,000 miles
When vehicle is stopped and at idle such as at a red light, the engine shakes and when the accelerator pedal is depressed the car hesitates and does not want to move and feels like the vehicle will stall. Once speed is up to about 10-15mph acceleration is fine with no vibration or shakes. This issue can be very serious when trying to pull out into traffic. Took to the dealership and was told nothing was wrong. Something is wrong and is unsafe.

- Warren, MI, USA

problem #84

Jul 092014


  • 60,000 miles


I was driving home from work, it was raining, as I pulled off the light, the car began sputtering and would not go over 10 mph. I merged to the shoulder and the dashboard lit up with critical engine fault, and a few others, the car stalled and I sat there for about 30 mins. I managed to get home that day and after sitting for 24 hours, it ran fine again.this morning (Dec.9th2014) raining again, I pulled into my parking lot and the car began sputtering and when I placed it in park, another critical engine fault appeared, I have read about 100 other cases describing the same situation.

- Saint Leonard, MD, USA

problem #83

Oct 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 35,900 miles
A few days after I purchased this vehicle, I went back to the dealer and told them it was stuttering on take off. I was told "this is normal, the car was getting use to a different driver, to save on gas, and that it should get better the longer I drove it". it did not got better, but worse. Brought it in and they said that it needed an update, so they hooked up to computer and updated it. Still did not fix the problem. Next time I took it in they told me it was the duel transmission, and it was normal for it to shutter. It is now in the shop having clutches replaced and seals replaced. The service manager told me that even after this was done it would still have a shutter, just not so bad. I tried to trade the vehicle in, but I'm going to lose around $5000, in one months time. Thus vehicle should never have been sold to me, I feel that I was lied to and deceived. The service manger at Ford told me that this is a well known problem this car, but the assistant sales manager is telling me that it is not a "quality" issue. Who would buy a practically new car to only be in the shop three times in 2 months and still not have a save or smooth ride? no one would!!!!

- Bath, ME, USA

problem #82

Sep 152014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 22,900 miles
Grinding/rattling noise and heavy shuddering/shaking/lurching occurs at low speeds. Not normal sounds. I drove manual vehicles for over 15 years and never experienced this occurrence, with the exception of first learning how to drive a manual. It is currently in the shop for a recall (that this site doesn't note, for some reason, but Ford does find). I have never once (2 months time) gotten over 31 mpg either. This was purchased as a commuter vehicle, and for it to rarely get 30 mpg is sad, considering my driving an 8 year old, 175K mile corolla meant getting upwards of 34 mpg consistently. Have made 2 payments on the car and wishing I had never bought it.

- Kyle, TX, USA

problem #81

Nov 112014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 21,557 miles
Vehicle transmission has been making a grinding noise ever since we bought the car. The grinding noise occurs at low speeds as one accelerates from zero mph. I have taken the car to the dealer only to be told it is normal. The noise doesn't sound normal and this issue has been documented by many other Ford Focus owners. The noise appears to only get worse with time. This noise cant be "normal." Please advise what is being done about this anomaly.

- Yuma, AZ, USA

problem #80

Oct 012013

Focus 4-cyl

  • 100 miles
Similar to many posts: Consistent shuddering when accelerating from a stop; especially if there is any kind of incline. This is a daily occurrence.

- Huntington Beach, CA, USA

problem #79

Nov 052014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 25,000 miles
I have received a recall (customer satisfaction program 14M01), yet when I call my dealership's (blue bonnet Ford in new braunfels, Texas) service department, they say, oh a customer sat--well, you have to talk to this line and they transfer me to an unattended number where I leave a message and never receive a callback. If this company doesn't honor their recalls, they should be fined big time! meanwhile I am stuck with a defective car that no one will fix.

- New Braunfels, TX, USA

problem #78

Aug 012014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 20,000 miles
There is an obvious transmission problem with the vehicle. When going from 1st to 2nd gear from a stop it shudders and nearly stalls. This is a constant every day issue. I bought the car new, I have brought it to the dealership twice and was told that because there is no official recall Ford is not allowing the dealerships to fix the problem even thought there are aware of the problem across the board with the 2013 model of the Focus and the fiesta. I was basically told that with an official recall the car would have to stall out on the road or be the cause of an accident in order for the issue to be fixed.

- Woodbridge, VA, USA

problem #77

Oct 232014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 61,000 miles
When I first got the car in September 2013, the car would jerk and shake when pulling off from a stop and was also very loud. I took it to be serviced and they told me that was normal. I took it back a few months later because I didn't believe that was normal. They fixed it. But now it's starting to shake again. In June 2014 the engine light started coming O for a few days. I took it to Ford and they claim they fixed the problem. The light came back on in July, they claimed there was nothing wrong with it. The light was back on in September, they claimed yet again, nothing was wrong with it. I took it took a small transmission shop, they read my codes and immediately found a problem, claiming it was a transmission issue. A few days later, the light was back on. Each time the engine light comes on, it would stall and immediately slow down right in the middle of traffic. Each time Ford claimed nothing was wrong with the vehicle, the engine light would be on for two days. Each time I took my vehicle to Ford, they would keep it 2-5 days... I couldn't get a rental car half of the time because they wouldn't actually do their job until the last day and then tell me that nothing's wrong with my car. We all know, your warranty company needs to know the problem before authorizing a rental vehicle. This last time in October, they claim to have fixed it. They claim that a sensor had to be replaced. I will never buy another Ford vehicle. I cannot wait to get rid of this car! my car is still shaky. It makes a kind of loud noise now as well.

- Sumter , SC, USA

problem #76

Apr 302014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 10,750 miles
Vehicle bucked or shuddered when starting from a complete stop or if coasting and then gas applied. Issue was said to be fixed at this time 4/30/14, which it did run better until it happened again on 9/6/14 when I pointed out the same issue. It was determined that there was a leak coming from the bell housing and it was dripping on the clutch causing the shuddering. On 9/16/14 it was taken to the garage for repair. I am still experiencing some shuddering, especially in reverse when going slow but also at times going forward. Not satisfied that it is completely fixed, but Ford has extended the warranty to 7 years/ 100,000 miles. I will be contacting the garage in the near future for them to look at it again.

- Roaring Brook Township, PA, USA

problem #75

Aug 282014

Focus 4-cyl

  • 170,000 miles
The vehicle hesitates and vibrates; a noise in the transmission; and the transmission not shifting properly. It does not accelerate and almost has caused multiple accidents.

- South Fulton, TN, USA

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